Hans Josephsohn, 1920-2012


Zurich-based sculptor Hans Josephsohn has died at 92. The artist is known for his hefty, roughhewn sculptures of the human figure, monumental and contemplative works often made of plaster. In his own words, his work with the human body signifies that in which “everything is expressed.”

Josephsohn was born in 1920 in Kaliningrad, East Prussia. He lived most of his life in Zurich, where he moved from Italy in the 1930s to escape Nazi persecution. He began to exhibit his work in the early 1950s, mainly in Europe. He appeared only occasionally in New York. Museums that have hosted solo exhibitions include the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt. He was awarded the city of Zurich’s art prize in 2003.

In 2006, he had his last one-person show in New York at Peter Blum Gallery. His work appeared this year at “The Spirit Level,” curated by Ugo Rondinone at Gladstone Gallery, New York, and during the Frieze New York art fair at dealer Gavin Brown’s Harlem townhouse.